Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platforms of 2021

In this review, we will be sharing the best cryptocurrency trading platforms of 2021. 

Cryptocurrency is all the rage but, what is it? And how do you get started?

Those are the questions we asked ourselves when we first learned about cryptocurrency. While there was a learning curve, cryptocurrency wasn’t hard to wrap our heads around. 

For those of you who are new, this can seem overwhelming. The platforms we listed below should help you find your feet and hopefully, they’ll make you some money.

Best Crypto Brokers for 2021

To find the best brokers for trading cryptocurrencies, we analyzed top brokers based on a variety of factors. When we compiled this list of, there were a few things we considered. This includes the fees, features, security, educational content and much more.  This is our selection.

  • eToro
  • Coinbase
  • Kraken
  • Robinhood
  • BlockFi
  • Poloniex
  • CEX.IO
  • BitBuy
  • ChangeNOW
  • Shapeshift
  • Bitstamp
  • Coinmama
  • Bitsquare
  • LocalBitcoins
  • Binance
  • Huobi
  • LinkCoin

eToro – Best Overall

eToro is a platform that has been popular in the UK and Europe. Recently, they have expanded to allow for US traders. They have a wide variety of digital assets that you can buy and sell. 

This platform is great because it offers a practice trading account so you can give it a try before committing. 

We would recommend this platform for both experts and beginners in cryptocurrencies.

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etoro logo
PROS
CONS
Offer 15 cryptocurrencies that can be traded
$25 minimum to buy any cryptocurrency
Can access this platform online and via a mobile app
High minimums are required
Ideal for beginners
Wide spreads for trading cryptocurrencies
User-friendly platform

Coinbase

Coinbase is a popular cryptocurrency trading platform because it allows you to invest directly with USD. It is widely used in the US. 

What makes them great is that they offer custodial accounts for investors and traders. This is useful for beginners who want to try trading with cryptocurrency. 

A downside to this is that users with custodial accounts do not own the private keys to the coins. 

Coinbase also has a free Coinbase Pro platform. Coinbase Pro is a cheaper fee structure and more features. Coinbase Pro acts as a stepping stone for more experienced traders and offers features for more advanced users. 

We would recommend this cryptocurrency platform for beginners and advanced traders. 

Coinbase
PROS
CONS
Simple user interface
High fees if you’re not using Coinbase Pro
High liquidity
Users do not control wallet keys
Variety of altcoin choices

Kraken

Kraken was founded in 2011 and is partnered with the first cryptocurrency bank. With Kraken, you can buy and sell bitcoin and trade in your coins for money. 

Kraken also allows you to exchange your cryptocurrency with other digital currencies. 

A downside to Kraken is that they do not accept deposits using debit or credit cards, or PayPal.

We would recommend this cryptocurrency platform to advanced traders. 

Kraken Logo
PROS
CONS
Good exchange rates
Limited payment methods
Low transaction fees
Available globally 
Easy to use 

Robinhood

Robinhood changed the game in trading. Much like their stock trading, their cryptocurrency trades are commission-free. 

They are not available globally but can be used in the United States and they are spreading quickly. 

The downside to free crypto trades is that these trades are limited. 

We would recommend this cryptocurrency platform to beginners who want to try out cryptocurrency trade without risking too much.

Robinhood Logo
PROS
CONS
Free cryptocurrency trading
Limited features
Sleek, easy to use platform

BlockFi

BlockFi is unique, because it lets you lend and earn interests on holdings. Instead of selling your coins, you can now borrow against holdings.

This is useful if you’re pressed for funds but don’t want to sell your coins in a down market.  

What makes BlockFi great is that you can earn up to 8.6% annually on your coins. 

We would recommend this platform to serious traders and investors. 

BlockFi Logo
PROS
CONS
High yield on cryptocurrency deposits
Their rates are subject to change
Able to borrow against your holdings
You are limited to one free withdrawal per month
Zero minimums or monthly fees
Lacks FDIC or SIPC insurance 

Poloniex

Poloniex was founded in 2014 and is a leading cryptocurrency trading platform. 

They offer over 100 different Bitcoin cryptocurrency pairings. Poloniex also features advanced tools and data analysis. This is ideal for advanced traders and investors. 

What makes them great is that there are zero withdrawal fees besides the transaction fee that your network may require. 

For beginners, Poloniex has a chatbox that offers user help for any issue you could have. 

We would recommend this cryptocurrency platform for advanced traders and investors. 

Poloniex Logo
PROS
CONS
High volume trading
Slow customer service
User-friendly
No Fiat Support 
Low trading fees

CEX.IO

CEX.IO is a popular cryptocurrency platform. It allows for various payment methods when you are using bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. 

What makes CEX.IO a good option for beginners is their use of fiat money. CEX.IO lets users use fiat money along with cryptocurrencies. 

If you’re a more experienced trader, the platform also offers advanced tools. You can personalize your trade experience with its user-friendly dashboard and margin trading. 

It is comforting to know that the CEX.IO website is secure. You also have the option to store your coins in safe cold storage if you wish.

We would recommend this cryptocurrency platform for beginners and advanced traders. 

CEX.IO
PROS
CONS
Supports credit cards
Strict rules for verification
A good option for beginners
Fees vary depending on the payment method
Supported globally
Good exchange rates 

Bitbuy

Bitbuy is a Canadian-owned digital currency platform. It was founded in 2013. It is one of Canada’s fastest-growing digital currency platforms. 

Bitbuy is known for its customer service, quick times for deposits and withdrawals, and their easy to use platform. 

This platform is great if you’re looking to buy and hold coins, or if you want to turn your fiat currency into cryptocurrency.

A downside of Bitbuy is that it is only available to Canadians. They also have limited asset classes so it might not work for advanced or active traders. 

We would recommend this Canadian cryptocurrency platform to beginners. 

BitBuy Logo
PROS
CONS
Good customer service
Limited asset classes
Quick registration and verification time
Only available in Canada 
Low fees
CAD deposits and withdrawals are quickly processed

ChangeNOW

ChangeNOW is a new digital currency trading platform that has made itself known for its reliable service and great rates. 

What makes ChangeNow stand out from other cryptocurrency platforms is that it does not need you to create an account. ChangeNOW is registration-free. 

Despite being new to the scene, ChangeNow offers fast transactions in over 170 digital currencies. It offers fiat-to-crypto transactions as well. 

ChangeNOW also has clear charge rates which is always a win. 

We would recommend this digital currency platform to advanced traders and beginners.

Change Now Logo
PROS
CONS
Registration free trade
No leverage trading on digital currencies offered
Over 170 digital currencies available 
Zero limits – there is no maximum exchange amount
Easy purchase with a credit card
Mobile app available 

Shapeshift

Shapeshift is a leading cryptocurrency platform. It supports a variety of digital currencies like Bitcoin, Zcash, Dash, Dogecoin, and Monero. 

Shapeshift is a great platform if you want to make quick trades without having to register for an account.

A downside of this platform is that it does not allow users to buy cryptocurrency with credit or debit cards, or any other payment system. It also doesn’t have a fiat policy.

Shapeshift is a simple platform and only offers users exchange between bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. 

We would recommend this platform for beginners who are looking to explore digital currencies and hobbyists. 

ShapeShift Logo
PROS
CONS
Beginner-friendly
No fiat support
Reasonable pricing
Limited payment methods
Multiple digital currencies available for trade
Lack of tools 

Bitstamp

Bitstamp was founded in 2011 and is based in Europe. It is a first-generation digital currency exchange. 

It has gained a reputation as being a safe and reliable trading platform. It has secure two-step verification technology for wallets and insured cold storage. 

Bitstamp offers free accounts. After opening your account and making the deposit, you can start trading immediately. 

We would recommend this cryptocurrency exchange for advanced users. 

Bitstamp Logo
PROS
CONS
High-level security
Not beginner-friendly
Available globally
High deposit fees
Low transaction fees
Bad user interface
Limited payment methods

Coinmama

Coinmama is another veteran cryptocurrency trading platform. This platform is available worldwide.

Coinmama allows you to buy bitcoin and Ether using your credit or debit card, Apple Pay, or via a bank transfer. This makes buying coins super easy. 

This feature is ideal for people who want to make instant purchases of their preferred digital currency with their own money. 

A downside of this platform is that Coinmama does not have built-in LTC, BCH, XRP, ADA, QTUM, ETH, or BTC wallets. If you want to trade in the crypto exchange, you will need to get your wallet in each of the cryptocurrencies you want to trade with. 

For an active trader, this can be an issue. 

We recommend Coinmama for beginners and advanced traders. 

PROS
CONS
Beginner-friendly
High exchange rates
Amazing user interface
A premium fee is charged for credit cards
Available globally 
Cannot sell bitcoin
Fast transaction rate

Bitsquare

Bitsquare is another cryptocurrency platform that doesn’t need you to register for an account. It has marketed itself as a decentralized digital currency platform that allows for instantly accessible trade. 

Bitsquare is known for its peer-to-peer exchange. This lets you buy and sell bitcoins in exchange for other cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies. 

The platform has great security measures. It offers security deposits and has a purpose-built arbitrator system if there is a trade disagreement. 

Bitsquare does not hold your funds and any personal data you share will be with your trading partners. 

We would recommend this digital currency exchange to advanced users.

BitSquare Logo
PROS
CONS
Good security
Limited payment methods
No registration needed
Not beginner-friendly
Variety of cryptocurrencies available 
Good fees
Available globally

LocalBitcoins

Much like Bitsqure, LocalBitcoins is a peer-to-peer exchange platform. Peer exchange is available locally and globally. 

You can use the platform to meet up with fellow traders in your area and buy and sell digital currencies. 

LocalBitcoins lets you send money via PayPal, Dwolla, or Dwolla. You can even arrange for direct bank transfers which makes trading simple.

LocalBitcoins has many security measures in place to make sure that your coins are safe. It has a two-factor authentication system that protects you against hackers. You have the option to add this feature if you want. 

The platform also records IP addresses on computers that accounts were created on. If a user accesses their account from a different IP address, the platform requires verification via email. 

We would recommend this cryptocurrency platform for advanced traders who want easy trading. 

PROS
CONS
Does not need an ID
Difficult to buy large amounts of digital currencies 
Instant transfers
High exchange rates
Available Worldwide

Binance

Binance is a centralized cryptocurrency platform that focuses on crypto-to-crypto trading.  

What makes Binance interesting is that they offer their coin called BNB (Binance coin). They also offer a discount if you decide to trade with BNB. 

Binance has a 0.1% trading fee and has a variety of altcoins available. 

They are rapidly growing in popularity because of their amazing offerings and low trading fee. 

We would recommend this platform for both beginners and advanced traders.

Binance Logo
PROS
CONS
Offers their coin
Does not offer fiat trading
Low trading fee
Limited payment methods
Available Worldwide

Gemini

Gemini is a licensed US-based digital currency exchange. Being licensed means that Gemini is held to the same regulations and standards as a US-based bank. It also comes with impressive security measures such as cold storage.

Gemini has a maker-taker fee schedule and offers discounts to high-volume traders. They don’t charge fees for deposits or withdrawals so that was a major win in our book. 

A downside is that Gemini is not fully available worldwide. Another downside is that they only trade in three currencies, the US dollar, ether, and Bitcoin. This might discourage advanced or serious traders from investing with Gemini. 

We recommend this platform to beginner or experienced traders.

PROS
CONS
High volume trading
Limited currencies
Amazing security technology 
Not fully available worldwide
User-friendly
Lacks margin trading
Licensed in the US

LinkCoin

LinkCoin is a Canadian-based digital currency platform. It works with over-the-counter (OTC) cryptocurrency exchange developed by Yesbit Ltd and Bibox. 

LinkCoin exchanges transactions autonomously using smart contracts. It has a web-based platform and is available on Android and IOS. 

They offer seven digital currencies and have low transaction fees. They have no buyer fees and a 0.6% seller fee which makes trading affordable. 

We would recommend this digital currency platform for advanced traders. 

PROS
CONS
Does not need an ID
Does not offer altcoins
Affordable fees
Not beginner-friendly
Amazing security
Lots of payment methods

What is cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency. You can use it as a way to pay for goods and services online or trade it to make a profit. 

The uses of cryptocurrencies are regulated by online ledgers to make sure online transactions are secure. 

A lot of companies have begun using their cryptocurrencies that you can use in exchange for their goods and services. These are usually called tokens and you can think of them as casino chips or arcade tokens. 

Cryptocurrency works by using blockchain. Blockchain is a decentralized technology that is spread among computers worldwide. Blockchain manages and records online transactions as well. 

There are over 6700 different cryptocurrencies. The most famous currency, Bitcoin, is currently worth around $563.8 billion. That’s a whole lot of money. 

Cryptocurrency brokers are the middlemen between the buyer and the cryptocurrency exchange. Brokers can buy up large amounts of cryptocurrency and then sell them on their platforms. 

To make a profit off this, brokers can charge cryptocurrencies at a higher rate than the exchange. If you choose to work with a broker you get access to services like easy payment methods, working systems, and support. 

How to pick a crypto trading platform?

Before jumping into the world of cryptocurrencies, here are a few things you should consider:

Privacy

Most cryptocurrency platforms should offer you privacy settings. The two-step authentication process is a common setting that can be manually enabled. 

This is essential to your security. The two-step authentication gives you extra protection against hackers. It protects your account and personal information. 

What can you trade?

Platforms offer different digital currencies. When choosing a platform you should check which cryptocurrencies they offer and if you’d like to trade with them. 

For beginners, this might not be high on the list of needs. But, it is important to know which cryptocurrencies are worth trading. 

Limits

If you’re an active trader, checking daily or monthly limits are useful. Cryptocurrency trading platforms might have transaction limits. Going over these limits can lead to increased fees so this is something to keep in mind. 

Fees

Exchanges should have this information easily available on their website. Before jumping in you need to understand the fees that might be attached to your account and trades. 

Fees can differ from platform to platform and from transaction to transaction. 

Liquidity

Something every trader should consider is the liquidity options offered by their preferred trading platform. How easy is it to convert your coins to cash? What are the costs of doing this? These are a few questions you should consider. 

Speed

It is good to check out the trade execution speeds of a trading platform. That is, how fast a trade can occur. 

If you’re an active trader slow trade execution speeds might be a deal-breaker. This might not be an issue for beginners or casual traders. 

Education

This is a good thing to check on if you’re a beginner and want to learn by experience. The educational content a platform offers can help you with your trading and how to use the tools offered. 

Research

This is an important feature that every trading platform should have. The research content should be robust and easy to use. 

In the case of short-term cryptocurrencies, this is important because they are sensitive to relevant news.  

Minimums

When choosing a trading platform you should check out if the platform has multiple minimums. 

Things like the minimum amount needed to open an account, the minimum deposits or investments you need to make, and minimum account balances. 

These minimums require you to have a certain amount of money in your account or pay a certain amount to trade. If you’re a beginner we would advise you to choose a platform with low minimums. 

Payments Methods 

You should know what payment options are available to you. Does the platform allow for credit and debit cards? PayPal? Wire transfers? 

You should also consider if the platform has limited payment options and which currencies they support. 

Tools

The tools a platform offers can make a huge difference in your trading methods. Tools like historical price charts that show market trends can help you decide when and how to trade. 

There are also tools like real-time data streaming and charting. For active traders, being able to customize these tools to suit your needs is a must. 

Supported Countries

When choosing a platform it is important to make sure that it is available in your region or country. Some platforms have user functions that are only available in certain areas. 

You need to make sure that your preferred platform is fully accessible in your country. 

Reputation

This is one of the easiest things to research when looking for a cryptocurrency platform. You can check user reviews, google the exchange, and read articles on the platform. 

Security

When trading you want to be as safe as possible to avoid scams and hackers. The securities a platform offers can guard your interests and investments. 

You should check whether the platform has security measures in place like cold storage. 

Trading Platform

If you’re a trader on the go or if you have a hectic lifestyle, it might be important for a trading broker to have multiple platforms.

A popular option is having a mobile trading platform app and most brokers offer this. The most common platforms we have seen are an online-based platform, desktop app, and mobile app. Most cryptocurrency platforms offer all three. 

Leverage

Crypto leverage trading is a tool that you can use to open long or short positions by leveraging borrowed funds. This lets you maximize your potential profits while using a small amount of money. 

This is a great way to increase profits. If you are an active, advanced trader this is something you could consider however, we would not recommend this tool for beginners. 

When leveraging borrowed funds you open yourself up to compound profits and losses so keep this in mind. 

Regulation

The first thing to know is that the regulation of cryptocurrencies differs from platform to platform and from country to country. 

Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced trader, checking if a platform is regulated by the government and other financial institutions is important. 

Regulation affects how coins are exchanged, bought, sold, and traded. It also affects the security measures in place. 

Types of Exchanges

Brokers

These are websites you can join to buy and trade cryptocurrencies around the world. This is done using prices set by the broker. 

Trading Platforms

Trading platforms are websites or applications that connect buyers to sellers. When using a platform a fee is charged for each transaction. Fees vary from platform to platform. 

Peer-to-Peer

This is when people can trade cryptocurrencies with each other. There are platforms where traders can buy, sell, and trade on their terms. 

  • Centralized and decentralized exchanges

This has to do with control over your account. In centralized exchanges, most of the control over your account stays with the party that runs the exchange. In decentralized exchanges, you control your account. 

  • Fiat-to-Crypto exchanges

This is when traders and exchange fiat for cryptocurrencies or vice versa. Traders can also use fiat to buy coins.

  • Crypto-to-Crypto Exchanges

This is when traders can trade their cryptocurrencies with each other. 

  • Custodial vs Non-Custodial Exchanges

When making an instant trade, in the case of custodial exchanges the exchange will hold your money for you. Non-custodial exchanges do not hold your money.

How to Invest in Cryptocurrency

The Process

Investing in cryptocurrencies is similar to investing in stocks. Here is a step-by-step process:

  1. Choose a cryptocurrency broker 
  2. Sign up
  3. Get your account verified
  4. Deposit money into your account
  5. Buy coins with the money you’ve deposited
  6. Sell or trade your coins for a profit or loss. The profit you make gets moved back to your account balance.

How to buy Bitcoin or Crypto

With step 5, you will have to make sure that the platform supports your credit or debit card. You could also transfer cash from your bank account.